Audio Terminology And Definitions Dictionary
Tape Deck Machine for playing magnetic tape recordings. Tape decks range from conventional cassette
decks, old-fashioned open reel analogue tape recorders, to DCC and DAT tape decks to professional studio tape decks. Most modern studio tape recorders are digital, the conventional storage medium being U-matic tape (a format originally developed as a professional video recording standard).
Tetrode A four electrode tube (valve) based on the triode.
The very faint background noise added to a signal as electrons pass through
semiconductors and cause heat.
Three-Beam Laser Transport
A three-beam optical pickup passes light from
the laser source through a diffraction grating, resulting in three separate
beams. The center beam is used to read data, and it feeds information to keep
the beam focused. The two other beams are used for tracking. (See also: single-beam
an organization and a set of certification standards, THX was originally
established by Lucasfilm Ltd., but it has since been spun off as a separate
organization. The original idea behind THX was to establish a protocol to ensure
that what you hear in your home theater comes as close as possible to what the
soundtrack engineer originally intended. THX technologies work in cooperation
with surround sound "pipelines" such as Dolby Digital or DTS, not in
competition with them. Equipment bearing the THX logo must meet certain minimum
performance standards. See the chapter on THX for further details.
Image File Format) A flexible container format for
digital still images, TIFF is commonly used in desktop publishing. TIFF images
can incorporate various forms of compression (e.g., JPEG), or they can be
Tonmeister Literally tone master. The term used by
Deutsche Grammophon to describe the function performed by the professional recording engineer. The role requires microphone positioning and choice,
operation of tape recorders for all takes during a recording session. Ultimately the Tonmeister or recording engineer
is responsible for the sound quality of the master tape.
A donut-shaped transformer that provides higher
efficiency and lower stray magnetic fields for its size when compared to an
equivalently sized standard iron-core transformer.
is a fiber-optic connection originally developed by Toshiba that is used for
transferring digital audio signals (such as PCM, Dolby Digital, and DTS) from a
source device (CD or DVD player) to an A/V receiver or preamp/processor.
Total Harmonic Distortion
(THD) Expressed as a percentage of an original audio
signal, THD is the total of all harmonics not present in the original signal.
Tracking The ability of a cartridge to track the record microgroove. A down force or tracking force is
applied by a counterweight on the end of the tonearm to which the cartridge is attached. An appropriate
side force (bias) is also applied to ensure the cartridge is not dragged towards the center of the disc.
Typical downforce values of around 1.8 to 2.0gm are used today, depending on the mass of the
arm and cartridge and the compliance of the cartridge suspension system. A high mass cartridge (10gm or more) and high mass tonearm (15gm or more Effective mass), low compliance (10 cu or less) combination may require a down force in excess of 2.0gm.
is the process of converting a media file from one file format to another to
ensure that the content of the original file will play on a system originally
developed to handle a non-compatible file format. Transcoding is usually accomplished with specific computer
programs developed for the purpose.
Some programs convert the files and save them to be played
later. Other programs or smartphone apps, such as Air Video, "live
convert" the files for immediate streaming.
Any device that converts one form of energy into another. A solar panel, for
example, is a transducer because it converts sunlight into electricity. Almost
all loudspeakers are actually "double transducers" in that they first
convert electrical energy (from an amplifier) into mechanical energy (a piston
moving back and forth), and then they take that mechanical energy and convert it
into acoustical energy (sound waves) that we can hear. Both types of energy
conversion (electrical to mechanical, and mechanical to acoustical) are very
important design factors in any loudspeaker.
A rapid, short-duration change of an audio signal that tests, naturally enough,
something called "transient response," or the ability of a component
(usually a speaker) to respond to a sonic event as quickly as possible and then
return to a state of rest when the signal disappears. The so-called "rim
shot" produced by a drumstick on the edge of a drum is an excellent example of
The upper-level or highest band of audio frequencies, running from about 3000
Hertz to 20,000 Hertz. (See also: bass,
midrange, and octave.)
Triode The first electronic amplification device. Invented in 1907 by Lee de Forest who called it the
audion, the triode is a diode with an extra perforated electrode, the grid, whose function is to vary the amount of current flowing from anode to cathode.
Transient A sudden sound.
Transistor There are numerous types of transistor, all designed to amplify an electrical signal. The most
common form used today is the bipolar transistor. There are also J-FETS,
MOSFETs, HEXFETs and many other generic types with particular applications.
Transmission Line A type of box loudspeaker in which a folded chamber leading from the rear of the bass unit
exits in the form of a vent. The aim of a transmission line is to make the chamber sufficiently long and
filled with sufficient material such as acoustic fibre, to prevent rear radiated sound exiting the cabinet.
Ideally all the sound will have been converted to heat by the acoustic fibre.
audio or video component designed to receive radio or television broadcasts.
driver designed to reproduce the high-frequency (treble) range of the audio
spectrum. (See also: driver, midrange driver,
Two-Way, Three-Way, etc.
Refers to a speaker system in which different drivers are tasked with
reproducing defined frequency ranges. A two-way speaker, for example, usually
includes a woofer and a tweeter. A three-way speaker adds a midrange driver to
the driver complement.